Inside Derby gift shop known as 'bricks and mortar Etsy' - Derbyshire Live

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The owners of an independent gift shop described as a "bricks and mortar Etsy" are hoping their unique range of artisan products will help them attract more customers to fight off a recent footfall decrease. Tubo, run by husband and wife team Danny and Kay Samson, enjoyed a successful first month of trading having opened just before Christmas, last year.

Customers enjoyed the "warm and welcoming" feel of the family-run Strand Arcade store, which stocks a range of eco-friendly homeware, cards and gifts. Some visitors even compared the shop to popular online store Etsy, which gives independent crafters a platform to sell their handmade or vintage items.

But Kay has noticed a "significant drop in footfall" in recent months which she mainly puts down to the current financial climate amid the cost of living crisis. The mum-of-two says another contributing factor is the location of the Strand Arcade, which sits around a 10-minute walk away from the city's main shopping centre, Derbion.

Read more: Independent Derbion jewellers still thriving after 42 years in Derby

She said: "We do love the Strand Arcade but footfall is a significant issue. We hear the same thing from neighbouring businesses 'things just aren’t what they used to be' with the cancellation of bus routes, empty units in the surrounding area and lack of tourist information signage.

"People just don’t venture down this part of Derby as much as they used to. We do regularly hear from customers, both local and out of town, that they didn’t know the Arcade existed!"

Danny and Kay previously ran a pop-up shop in their home village of Kegworth, but were delighted to make the big move into permanently trading from Derby city centre in late 2021.

Another big selling point of the gift shop is that it is dog-friendly. Many customers like to pop in simply to see Buddy, the family's miniature labradoodle.

Describing what the gift shop offers, Kay said: "Tubo Gift Shop is a small and friendly family-run business where we want to give our customers that something a little different than the high street store. We thoughtfully curate our collection of gifts and proudly support both UK makers and fairly traded artisans so we can have unique, handmade and sustainable products all under one little roof.

"The gift shop has been extremely well received, lots of positive comments about how warm and welcoming the shop feels and the lovely products within it. Plus, we have Buddy in the shop, who doesn’t love a cuddle from a miniature labradoodle!

(Image: Tubo)

"One positive to come out of the pandemic is that it has brought communities together and there is now a genuine thought for #shopsmall, people are making a more considered purchase with this in mind. If this mindset continues then I truly believe the high street can thrive.

"Additional support for independent businesses from the city council and business improvement organisations is vital to ensure this sentiment continues to grow and Derby can once again be a viable destination."

Here at Derbyshire Live, we launched our Love your Local campaign on Monday, June 27. In the weeks since then, we have been shining a light on independent retail and hospitality businesses across the county to help people to appreciate their local shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. So far, we have spoken to independent shop owners on Sadler Gate, in Derby's Cathedral Quarter, long-serving Derbion jewellers Judith Hart, and Dave Hill, who has run BPM Records in Old Blacksmiths Yard for more than three decades.

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Inside Derby gift shop known as 'bricks and mortar Etsy' - Derbyshire Live
Photo Credit: Derbyshire Live

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